World News – GB – Coleraine put in an impossible situation says Colin McKendry


The club president was « stunned » to learn the news when he arrived on the pitch, just over 90 minutes before the opening game of the new Irish Premiership season

Fans too were already making their way into the Showgrounds when news broke that supporters were not allowed to attend elite sports matches under the executive’s new Covid-19 regulations. ‘North Ireland

Board members eagerly gathered to try and figure out what this meant for the game as the new Premiership Danske Bank season kicked off

After seeking advice from PSNI and football organizations, Showgrounds officials agreed that a decision to keep fans away and prevent others from entering the pitch at this stadium would have put in danger to public safety

This opener had taken weeks in planning by the Bannsiders and President McKendry made an extremely frustrated number ahead of kick-off

He must have wondered why a decision, which had such important ramifications, had been made so late in the day

« This decision, if it had to be made, should have happened earlier this week

« You’re going to disappoint people, but if you did it on Monday morning they would have gotten over it already


« I think we are showing leadership as a football club I cannot put the fans off this pitch

As fans gathered outside and inside the field before kick-off, McKendry said the decision was made to allow them in to ensure the safety of the public

« I have dealt with a number of people since I arrived here tonight and so far I don’t think anything has been passed into law, » he said. declared

« I think I would be breaking the law if I closed those doors and told the flight attendants to keep people out, as it would become a public order offense, and in my opinion, I would be breaking the law. law at that time

« We met as a board of directors and I said open the doors because I didn’t want public health and safety issues popping up outside the door

« I made the decision to continue letting people in, if I am held responsible for it so be it

« I will openly state that we were not guided until the fans found themselves on this ground »

The NIFL Board of Directors called an urgent meeting immediately after receiving the letter from the Minister of Sports with a full statement expected later this evening

A waiting statement confirmed that spectators had been barred from attending sporting events and aligning the industry with health regulations with immediate effect

« I’m sorry for the footballers I attended meetings until midnight this week to try and organize football with members of my board of directors

« We really went the extra mile We couldn’t have done more to ensure the safety of the fans

« Arrive here and get a call from the Director General of the Irish Federation at half past six to inform me that he received a letter from the Minister saying there were no fans were crazy

« But I was driving and there were already fans swarming on the ground, there was a sea of ​​eventec stewards we asked to make sure we had the right staff to follow the protocols

« The NIFL Board of Directors made the right decision in my opinion to announce that there will be no fans at the matches this weekend

« But for me, what am I supposed to do with these fans who are already in the ground?

« This is extremely poor leadership from our government officials to allow Coleraine Football Club to spend the money they spent to get to this point and tell them an hour and a half before the kick off sending that there are no authorized fans

« We have done everything according to the letter of the law and I feel extremely disappointed »

Coleraine FC, NIFL Premiership, Ballymena United FC, Northern Ireland Executive

World news – UK – Coleraine put in an impossible situation, says Colin McKendry


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